A year after serving three days jail term for criminal contempt during the hearing of the presidential Election Petition, Stephen Atubiga, a communications team member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), says he is still traumatized.
He stated that memories about his imprisonment by the Supreme Court still sends shivers down his spine.
“Three days in jail is like three months; I can’t sleep and I think I have to deal with this pain for the rest of my life” he bemoaned.
In the election petition which ended a year ago after over eight months legal battle at the Supreme Court. Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and then party chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, prayed the Court to annul the election results which they claimed was fraught with irregularities.
The panel of judges, led by Justice William Atuguba ruled by 5:4 to uphold the Electoral Commission’s declaration of president John Mahama as winner of the December 7, election on the ticket of the governing National Democratic Congress.
But the trial was heated with political commentators falling on the wrong side of the law after making scandalous comments about the process and the judges.
Stephen Atubiga was declared wanted by the presiding judge, Justice William Atuguba for making comments considered by the court as contemptuous.
Though he unconditionally retracted the offending statements and apologized profusely to the court, he got a mitigated sentence of three days’ imprisonment.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, remorseful Atubiga said being an ex-convict “is not an achievement to be proud of”.
According to him, he has been battling with depression due to the unfortunate experience in prison.
“I’m on medication due to the depression; prison life is not easy and I’m hoping no one goes through that ordeal”.
Stephen Atubiga noted that the action taken by the judges has dented his image as a politician both home and abroad.
“I’m pained at how I have brought the name of my family into disrepute; but I thank Ghanaians for giving me a second chance” he added.
This notwithstanding, Stephen Atubiga believes he was used as a “guinea pig” to serve as a deterrent to others. Story by Ghana/Adomonline.com/Adwoa Gyasiwaa
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